Lost Cash ISA Allowance during Transfer
I have a problem with an ISA Transfer that I need advice on.
I held a flexible Cash ISA with TSB that had a low interest rate (1.6%) and wanted to change it to one of the cash ISAs that MSE recommended: Skipton Cash ISA (5%).
I had used up 2 years of allowance (40k) but had withdrawn money recently. My balance was just £1,450 with a total allowance of around £41,000. I intended to put all the money back in during this tax year, and to further use the ISA next year, gaining over £60k allowance.
I called and asked BOTH providers, in very specific detail, if I could move the Cash ISA over BEFORE topping up to the maximum allowance. I asked if I could move both my balance as it existed (£1,450) and unused allowance NOW, and keep the £41,000 allowance. And then I would top up the account in its new home at Skipton before April. Both providers assured me that I could and that I would NOT lose my allowance during the transfer.
So I did it, the account has moved this week and the old TSB Isa closed... and of course I have lost my allowance. I now only have £20,000 from this year available.
I am furious as I had worked hard to gain the allowance and would not have moved if there was ANY chance of losing it. I could have easily waited, and topped up the account at TSB before moving.
Now both providers are backtracking and saying that it was never possible to do so. TSB have said that they would have needed to be asked for some kind of special permission from Skipton before the transfer, and Skipton are saying that I was given bad advice (by them) and they are sorry but now that the TSB account has been closed (which is of course fundamental to the transfer) I have no way of recovering the allowance.
What I am especially baffled by is that I clearly explained my allowance and that the current balance was below that - I gave both banks clear figures and explanation and also was very clear with the question about whether I should wait before moving. And both gave me the SAME wrong answer.
What recourse do I have? Both have apologised but I am left having lost my hard-earned ISA allowance that I do genuinely need and had intended to use. Is there anything I can do?
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